Tag Archives: God

**The Road To 27** Post 6 of 7 – God

Despite what anybody says or believes, God (YAWEH, the same God of Israel that worked in the Holy Bible as well as today) is the reason I am here.

Point blank. No argument. It just is. I can never show enough gratitude for that.

While some people spend their time wrestling with the questions “Well why do we have to serve Him anyway?” — “Are we mere slaves?” — “Surely there must be a higher purpose for us than that?”

— I spend my time walking with The Holy Spirit, praising God for being Who He is and the wonderful blessings He’s bestowed upon my life.

DAY 6Since my 20th birthday, I have learned to spend the first part of my special day praying it in before I do anything else. I am humble enough (and will continue to be) to know that without God breathing life in me, I wouldn’t be able to do or enjoy anything else. He is the reason I breathe. He is the reason I have been blessed with great parents. He is the reason I have family and friends to enjoy my time with, He is the reason I have a job, He is the reason for literally EV-ER-Y-THING in my life and on this earth. My birthday is not a time to celebrate myself, but to celebrate the God that made this life; and it’s a GREAT feeling to know that even though God doesn’t physically ask, “Jocelyn, did you notice all that I’ve done for you? It would be nice if you thanked Me ya know, just a little gratitude.” , He doesn’t have to ask me! I will give thanks to Him freely when that dial hits 12:00 AM (If I’m not asleep, ya’ll know I go to sleep early lol)

I never in a billion gagillion zaphillion years would’ve thought I’d be a this point in my Christ walk at THIS age!

See, I had this plan growing up right:

Step #1 Do all my dirt and sinning while I was young

Step #2 Slow down in my 30s

Step #3 Completely stop in my 40s and share my testimony

Step #4 Become a old mother in the church and tell kids about how it was when I was young

I lie to you not! This is exactly the foolery that my old wayward self used to come up with! But Christ stepped in there and hit me with the Dikembe Mutombo like “No No No — I didn’t die so you can willingly keep living in sin! Not in My house!”

I’ll admit, it’s a little embarrassing to know that it took so many warnings to get me on the right track, but I’m glad God sent them! At the rate I was going, I wouldn’t have made it to 25 ANYWAY! God did some fast acting, put Jesus on the play and sent The Holy Spirit in to take it to the hole for a slam dunk! And BOY did He score! Here I am, coming upon 27 years old, with a further understanding of Christ than most people my age, and I count that an honor and a blessing!

When I finally turned back on the right path, I took a cue from Solomon and began praying for godly wisdom. It’s something I continue to pray for even now. And you know what, I’m so thankful that the Holy Bible was left here for us, because if I didn’t have that to look back on, I would be flubbing us this life all to pieces.

Nevertheless here I am, just hours away from my 27th birthday and I’m excited and grateful! God is wonderful, and amazing, and all of the above!

Hey…..I’m almost 27 ya’ll!

#NawlinsJoc

Photo shot and edited by Rich Griffis (www.richgriffis.com)

[photo by Rich Griffis ]

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**The Road To 27** Post 5 of 7 – Health

I know health is an awkward thing to reflect on the week of your birthday, but hey, it’s something that’s important to me!

From the second I was conceived, I battled and fought to have a healthy life. When my mom was in her last trimester, doctors could see that something “wasn’t right” with me. In the eighties, technology wasn’t as advanced as it is now, so basically all they could do was speculate.

On the day of my birth, it was discovered that I had a massive brain tumor that prevented a large portion of my skull from forming. To make things even more perplexing, I was the first case in US history to have a brain tumor connected to ANOTHER arachnoid cyst, which rested in my throat. Doctors were flown in from overseas and it was predicted that IF I survived the first day or so, I would be nothing more than a common vegetable. After not being able to even HOLD me after I was birthed, those doctors sat there and told my parents (as I lie in the UNC Chapel Hill Hospital NICU) that I would never walk, I would never learn to speak, and that I would never to be able to do anything more than stare up as they faced a lifetime of changing, feeding, and cleaning me. Can you IMAGINE how that felt?!

Needless to say, I’m here typing this blog, so OBVIOUSLY God had much better plans for me! I am so thankful for praying parents and family!

As I grew, I was in and out of the hospital for check ups, maintenance, and a few other minor things (given the enormity of my first diagnosis) — but other than a few tussles with asthma, I was as good as gold!

One thing always rested heavily on my mind though….would I be healthy enough to ever have my OWN children?

DAY 5

If you have met me over the past 10 years, you would probably think of me as a head strong, determined, career oriented, “I can do bad all by myself” type person. The truth is, that’s not at all who I am. My number one goal/desire in life (and always have been) was to be a wife and mother (emphasis on the mother part). I am still striving daily to advance in life and excel in a career that makes me happy, but it doesn’t take the place of family. To be honest, I am totally find with being a housewife and working from home if it means I can spend more time with my future kids. One issue with that according to my neonatal surgeons…. is that the shunt doctors wired throughout my body runs through the entire length of my torso — thus on paper, make it risky to carry a baby.

Let me stop right here and say that though I’ve battled suppressing these negative thoughts throughout life, I have learned to lean on God in faith through Jesus Christ my Savior who made it possible for me to even come to God’s majestic throne and ASK for a miracle. So whatever God’s will for my life is, I believe wholeheartedly, that it will include me being a mother SOME WAY, some how. Ok…now back to the reflection…

Toxic thoughts began to knock at the doors of my mind at an early age saying “Who is going to marry someone who needs so much medical care?” and “What man will want a woman who can’t bare children?” and “If you want someone, you’ll have to settle.”, and “You might as well just cope with being single forever, because it isn’t medically possible or safe for you to have your own children.” — the lies continued on and on.

Up until my first year out of college, I was able to keep thinking positive as I rose above those negative thoughts and denied them access into my psyche. But after a brief bout will illness in 2011, these thoughts exploded back onto the scene with a vengeance. I would literally sit in my room and cry….just cry. All those terrible “doctor’s predictions” came knocking louder as anger tried to rest in my heart as I witnessed these hoodrat chicks (just being real here folks) and TODDLERS pop out babies they didn’t take care of or didn’t even really want. I even found myself getting upset at some of my friends who’d had babies out of wedlock — because here they were venting to me about the struggles of having a child, when I would GLADLY take on that struggle if it meant being a wife and a mother. (those feelings are now gone by the way)

It’s taken some years, but now — here upon year 27 — I’m on the path to continued healthy living! Emotionally and physically. I am trying to keep my weight down…I’m adopting new exercise plans…and I’m focusing on healthy eating. I have now resolved those emotional issues that once plagued me (and work at it daily), I haven’t had any serious health problems (and I don’t plan to) and most importantly, I realize that whatever man I marry will have to accept me for my past, where I am in my present, and be willing to create a future together with me — however and whenever we are blessed with our children.  ❤

#NawlinsJoc

Photo shot and edited by Rich Griffis (www.richgriffis.com)

[photo by Rich Griffis ]

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Phil Robertson’s Response to “being let go”

This was Phil’s response to being let go!
Robertson has issued a statement in response:

“I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together.

“However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”

 

Very well said.

– Joc

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Christians Can Meditate Too!

I know this may seem super random but I just now, honestly absorbed the true meaning of scriptures like Joshua 1:8 that reads, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”(KJV)  and Psalm 1:2 that says, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”(KJV)

For example. At least once every month, it seems as though a negative person from my past passes my path whether it’s in my hometown, online, at a mutual friend’s gathering, or even while out of town. For awhile the first thought that popped into my head was, “Ohhh Lord! Really?! I gotta deal with THIS clown?!” But about a year and a half ago, I actually started make it a point to Google scriptures that spoke to what I was feeling. So the next time I saw that negative person from the past, I had a scripture on hand to calm me down. Or if I was having a hard day at work I’d say a passage or two to myself that spoke to the stress I was feeling. Or I’d go home to look up what the Bible said about healing and how to live a prosperous life.

Today is the day that it finally hit me….I was doing was “meditating”! Meditating on God’s word (to be exact) and it was having a positive influence in my life! 

I’m pretty sure everyone, like me, thought at one time meditating only applied to folks like Tina Turner whenever she converted to Buddhism; but when you take a moment to think about, meditating is simply saying the same thing over and over again until it gets into your subconscious.

The same applied to me when I kept saying those Bible scriptures over and over. I’m at the point now where I can be feeling myself getting overwhelmed by whatever is going on during my day, and immediately recalling and “chanting” a scripture that applies to peace or joy. By doing that, I’m able to focus more on what God’s word says and less on the stress or fear or anger that’s trying to claim my mind – thus making me a happier, calmer Joc!

 phil_419It’s wild!! I know some of you folks that have been saved for a billion years may be thinking, “Well DUH Joc. The scripture lays it out plain and clear what meditating is?!” Well I’m not ashamed to say, it took me actually EXPERIENCING it to finally understand it.

So for all the Christians who want to know how to put ‘mind over matter’ and posess the power to make every day the best it can be think of meditating like this: 

STEP 1 – Google or research different scriptures that speak on things like “peace, joy, health, wisdom, fear, pain, etc” and write it down somewhere. It helps if you chose ones that are like 1-3 sentences. It’s easier to remember.

STEP 2 – Take one verse and make the commitment to read it every day for a week. At the end of the week, see if you can recall it without having to look down at your paper or look it up in the Bible.

STEP 3 – Do this with each verse and keep adding on. So for example, by the end of Week #2, you should be able to recall the verse you learned in Week #1 IN ADDITION to the one you just learned in Week #2.

STEP 4 – Once you run out of verses. Start over or look up new ones. Whenever something negative or bad happens during your day (stress, sickness, jealous coworkers, mean boss, troublesome kids, etc) see if you can recall that scripture. Keep saying it over and over again until you calm down.

STEP 5 – Repeat.

I’m telling you, if you’re really serious about it and want to improve your Christian walk, doing this will save you from beating a lot of folks tails, cussing out a many of coworkers, and staying sane when trials come.

– Joc

ps. I’ll come back and correct the typos later. haha

 

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At This Point In My Life, I Don’t Have Time To Play….

Today I came across a tweetgram that my good friend and author Peaches Dean posted on her page.

peach

When I read this, the wheels in my brain started to turn. I began to ask myself questions like…

“Can you identify with this?” “Who in your life has essentially taken up valuable time?”

“Have YOU beaten around the bush with a friend, in a relationship, or with a colleague?”

When the questions finally stopped rolling I had some time to absorb and drum up a few answers.

I can totally identify with Peaches’ sentiments and because I know her personally, I know that she is speaking straight from the core. The core group of people I run with all have goals…not just dreams to fantasize about day in and day out. We make them goals to set and to be obtained. Even if we have to take baby steps – at the end of the day, we know we’ll get where we need to be. Not trying to be a dream killer, but I have come across quite a few people who have dreams, but stop right there…at the dream stage. They convince themselves ‘they’ll get to it one day’ or ‘where they live makes it impossible to take any steps forward’ or ‘they want to grab their dreams, yet they’re not sure if they want to sacrifice their free time to get that hustle in’. So I am with Peaches 100% in feeling that I have a purpose to fulfill; so if you are my friend, romantic interest, business partner – realize that I will do what’s necessary to fulfill my purpose. If you are going to cause detours – you should exit stage left.

If you don’t really like who I am, don’t stick around trying to be nice or keep me around because you might need something later on – just keep it 100% truthful and go about your business. I will HONESTLY understand if we’re just not on the same wavelength; I respect everyone’s right to be different. But if you waste my time, I cannot respect you.

wasting

Because I am so driven (in my professional, spiritual, and romantic life) I have no time to entertain idleness. That’s it. I said it. It still sounds harsh saying (well writing really haha) out loud, but it’s the truth. Back in college I had all the time in the world to learn about people, make my mistakes, and amass a large group of ‘friends’ – hey, you go to college to learn and diversify right!? But once I graduated, I found that I have to be intentional about who I let get close to me. If I know you for a few hours…that does not automatically make you my sis or bro unless we have an instant connection of some sort. Otherwise I need to get to learn you – as you should want to learn me; because if you are a person who has an unclean motive – please don’t be a distraction. Just walk the other way and we’ll leave it at “we’ll do lunch”.

wasting1

Now I’m not going to go on a rant giving the impression that the street does not go two ways. There have been times where I have to admit I have not been totally up front with someone. I wanted to be nice and not step on anyone’s toes, so I’ve been guilty in the past of continuing business and personal relationships though my heart was not 100% in it. I may have strongly disagreed with that person’s morals. Or knew that the guy I was into had some drama and mess with him – basically sticking around giving the other person a false sense of our relationship’s dynamic.

So right now, if anyone who feels I’ve led them on in the past, I honestly from the bottom of my heart apologize and ask for your forgiveness.

These days I try to be as up front and honest with people as possible; even if I have to be the bearer of bad news. I know that when it’s all over, they’ll respect me more for being up front and honest. There have been people who have crossed my path THIS YEAR that I’ve had to give some hard truths to and we’re cool to this very day.

Now that I’m nearing the end of this commentary, I just want to wrap things up by highlighting the main points of this post:

  1. I am at a point in my life where I desire to connect with genuine people. If you want to be my friend for no other reason than to score connections – walk the other way. If you’re a guy who wants to date me to get the skirt, get over your ex, have a photog/writer gf, or for any other shallow reason – quickly exit.
  2. wastingtime1Since I have experienced dealing with people who aren’t genuine, I make sure that I’m as up front with people as possible – even if what I have to say stings.
  3. There aren’t too many things you can be selfish about these days, but one thing I am selfish about is my future. I refuse to have my future derailed, stymied, or knocked off course by any one for any reason. I trip on my on feet, that’s another story; but as far as wasting time allowing someone else to demolish the path God’s set in front of me – NEGATIVE.
  1. I love Peaches for posting this. Peaches keeps it real every second of every day. I’m so glad that I met her (thanks Drea) and so glad she’s around to post truth like this.

Good day all,

– Joc

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NEW AUTHOR ALERT! “Memories of My Mommy” by Peaches Dean!

Today I really wanted to share you all the amazing-ness that is Peaches Dean! She’s a friend, client, and spectacular woman all wrapped into one! Last year I had the pleasure of photographing her author’s “corner” photos for her upcoming book “Memories of My Mommy”.

 

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Before and during our shoot, she gave me the breakdown of what inspired her to write the book and who the book was for. This is what she had to say: 

The book is for every girl and even every woman who has lost their mother. [The book is] suitable for boys [as well], but I really want to target young girls ages 4-12. Even though I condensed my very own healing process [into] a 10 page children’s book, it took me almost a year to write it! It was a very uprooting and hurtful/painful process. peaches2

I was 14 when I lost my mother and didn’t begin to heal from it until I was 23. I didn’t even realize how her death alone negatively impacted my relationship with women… and even men. [Since I’ve experienced the loss of my mother and can witness to how God can help heal you], I want to help [other] children [to] trust God to heal them from [any] family deaths they may experience [in their lifetime]. My book will include a small journal section in the back to help children [be interactive in their healing] and remain positive [while working through] the loss of their mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin, or anyone who was near and is near to their heart. “Memories of My Mommy” is only the beginning! 

From the moment she broke everything down to me, I realized just how strong she is; not only for living through such a traumatic experience, but GROWING from it. Being of the Christian faith myself, I know that one of the main attributes that separates us from the rest of the world is HOW we react to events in our lives. Where most people would go crazy, kill someone, or turn to a life of crime…Peaches (while admittedly struggling) ultimately turned to God and allowed Him to heal her from the inside out. He didn’t just put a ‘band-aid’ on it like most of us would do as humans; but He truly healed her AND IS STILL healing her. And perhaps what I love THE MOST about her entire process, is that instead of saying “ok, this has happened to me, thanks Lord for healing me. Amen” – she is taking what she has learned and turned into a physical form of medicine that can help COUNTLESS numbers of other children who may not know God yet or who may be having a hard time coping.

 Ms. Dean has been working tirelessly for over a year to SELF PUBLISH her book and the time has arrived for the world to support and be healed in the process.

peaches1

 Her book “Memories of My Mommy” will be released no later than December 16th, 2013.

So be on the lookout!

It’s not too late to help support Peaches’ efforts !!!

 peaches7

Visit and [LIKE] the Official

“Memories Of My Mommy Facebook Page: 

https://www.facebook.com/MOMMYY?ref=br_tf 

or follow her on Twitter:

@DoinJstPeachy

 

SUPPORT! SUPPORT! SUPPORT!

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Learn to Let Go of The Past

“The only reason it’s hard to “let go” is because we believe the lie that we “need” them. Stop believing that lie….Stop trying to saw ‘sawdust’. Once something is in your past, stop trying to re-open doors God has closed. Some places God is taking you will arrive alone, but not lonely. He is always with you.” – Quentin McCall

Most of you know that I am an avid follower of Quentin McCall. The way he ties in real life application with what the Bible says is uncanny — you can’t help but love it! I know he’s probably been through the storm because the depth and truth that comes from his ‘advice/posts’ hits right at the heart of whatever matter you’re going through relationship wise. If he’s just saying what sounds good….then shoot, he’s doing a good job of keeping up appearances! haha

Tonight he posted the above few quotes and it’s wild how that content ties into the post of CLOSURE that I made earlier today. (well look at God). If you’ve ever dealt with a relationship…saved or not….we’ve all experienced a time in where we just wanted to take a peek into our past to make sure we made the right decision or if that person had changed enough to give the relationship another try. COME ON! ADMIT IT! I’ll be the first to say I have before. That was like the story of my college years. You know that boo you had back in the day or the guy you dated freshman year but reconnected by the time graduation rolled around. YEP, been there done that. Deep down inside you know it’s a waste of time, but you’re single…they’re single…no use in being ‘lonely’ right? So why not.

Thinking on it, I wish I hadn’t. haha BUT hey, what are you gonna do?! — continue to do better, that’s what.

Through years of personal experience and maturation, I’ve come to realize that relationship wise, if it didn’t work 3 years ago, it’s not going to work now. There is always a reason why you breakup with someone in the first place. Very rarely does anything change. Now if it’s like 20 years later that you both meet up and you’re both single, I’ll give you a little rope on that. People actually DO have the ability to change (I feel) over a LARGE period of time. But if you’re talking 1-10 years then NAW…you can keep that relationship behind you boo.

It boggles my mind (now) when friends around my age get caught up in old ‘college routine’ and recycle girlfriends/boyfriends because they’re lonely or meet up and feel like there still may be something there.

If you are now an avid bible reader, regular church goer, stopped drinking, stopped doing drugs and all that jazz — why on God’s green earth would you think it would be worth it to hook back up with your ex (who still does the same stuff). NEGATIVE.

If a girl/guy cheated on you back in high school/college because they were “stupid & not ready to settle”, but miraculously were ready to try again like 5 months later….NEGATIVE run the other way quickly. While people CAN change virtually overnight, it usually involves some traumatic experience or an act of God. Either way, it’s best to stay by yourself and walk the other way.

So Quentin…I feel you on this one my dear! Keep giving the knowledge to the people!

– Joc

WANT TO CATCH UP on the past I made earlier today??  

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CLOSURE. Do You Really Need It?

This past week I saw a post that definitely spoke to me from AJ Johnson’s INSTAGRAM page. For those of you who don’t know, AJ is the actress that played Jody’s mom on “Baby Boy” and Sidney’s friend Sharane in House Party”. She essentially gave up acting a few years ago and followed her calling of health, fitness, and awareness. At 50 (if you see her you won’t believe it) she drops knowledge every day on her Insta or AlrightTV Youtube Channel that speaks to being a healthier person physically and mentally. AJJOHNSON

But back to the point. The post AJ made (seen here) spoke to the subject of CLOSURE. Let’s face it. Most of us are wired to believe that in order for us to properly move on from an issue or person, we need to have at least of smidge of it. AJ, interestingly enough, called attention to the fact that we don’t always need it to move on; that sometimes LACK of “proper” closure is God’s way of closing the door for us. When I read this I had to honestly sit and reflect on the times in my life where I didn’t get the closure I wanted to get from a situation and of how it bugged me so bad that I didn’t receive it. 

And I said aloud, “SO YOU’RE TELLING ME I WAS UPSET AND FELT IRRITATED FOR NO REASON?????”

 The AJ Johnson in my mind replied, “YEP! You better believe it baby girl!” 

I know as an adult that there will simply be times where you don’t get the closure you want and have to accept it; but looking at a “cliff hanger” situation from the point that God has spiritually closed it FOR you is mind blowing! It’s like the hugest OHHHHHHH-moment I’ve had in a while. It all makes sense now!

 That boyfriend that fell off the face of the earth back in college, the job I applied for in where I never did get that ‘call back’ , that friend that I had a blow up with back in high school……in all of those situations, I never got the chance to physically sit down or call and talk to iron out the “whys” and the “hows” and clearly determine the “what nows”. It irked me for the longest and eventually, I had no choice but to get over it. Even today I have no clue if some of those people are even still alive or if that job is still open. But some of those ‘cliff hanger’ folks and I have had the opportunity to cross paths years down the road and simply closed everything with a nod

but now more than ever I know that God had His hand in every situation.

 

Just think if I would’ve still been with that ‘guy’ – I probably would’ve never found out that he was a hoe and kept dating him. That in turn would’ve probably exposed me to embarassment, AIDS/HIV/STDS or even pregnancy. WHEW SO glad God closed that door for me! What about that high school friend with whom I never spoke to after we had a huge blow up? I could’ve gone to their house and confronted them instead of letting it be. Who knows what could’ve happened or what jail we’d be in. haha Thanks to God spiritually closing that door, years passed before I saw them again and instead of reacting in the heat of the moment (like we probably would have back in school), we were older, wiser, and were able to actually carry on a decent convo then go on our way. OH and that job offer that I never got a call back from…it all worked out because instead of sitting and waiting around for an opportunity, God inspired me spiritually and incited my hands to create my own opportunity and now I’m in the process of launching my own business venture.

 ——————————————————————————————————————

So for all of you reading this post, how about take 3-5 minutes to reflect on a time where you felt like you never got the closure you were searching for.

1) Write it down on a scrap piece of paper or word document.

2) Now take a few extra minutes to think about how your life would be if you got ‘the closure you were seeking’.

Would it really have made a positive difference in your life? Would it really have made your day that much better to have a clear cut answer? Would you be a better person if you had been able to get that closure?

 —————————————————————

Now take a quick look at your life now…the one WITHOUT physical closure.

Are you really that bad off because you never got the answers YOU were looking for? Did a better opportunity come along that made you forget the person or opportunity that ‘left you hanging’ in the past? Aren’t you glad that God took care of it for you?

 

I pray this speaks to someone because it SHO did (and yes, I said sho) speak to me. The next time someone ‘leaves me hanging’ I will not only take it in stride, but thank God for saving me the energy. After all, who has time for mess?! Not I; and neither should YOU?

 

– Joc

 

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Stop weeping over the people that left you….

“Stop weeping over the people that left you. They must decrease from your life that Christ may increase in your life!” – Bishop T.D. Jakes

 

I want to start this post off by typing “BISHOP, YOU BETTA PREACH!”

If you are a Christian over the age of 18 you can probably identify with how I feel because you’ve been there…done that…and shot the film!

jakesThere were SOOOO many times in my life where people flipped the script on me and little ole naïve Jocelyn thought it was something wrong with her. I hate to say it but it’s true. I’ve had friends who I thought were probably going to be right beside me at my wedding; and then out of nowhere, they walked out of my life. And I’m not lying or tooting my own horn when I tell you that EVERY SINGLE ONE of those people who did me wrong have come back across my path — humbled.

Because I had great Christian guides (my parents), I learned to buck up , get my little cry out, pick myself up, and keep it moving.

Just take a moment to think on a best friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, or even family member that has betrayed you in some way.  Yes you loved and cared for them; but think about your life BEFORE they walked away and think about your life AFTER. If you can say life got better….if you can say opportunities and blessings started to drop in your lap more frequently….if you can say you felt happier, lighter, and better about yourself – it was God who removed those folk from your life so He could help guide you into the purpose that He has for you. If you don’t get anything else I’ve said here, never forget this….if you have a destiny ordained by God (and all of us do), He will separate you from people or things you otherwise wouldn’t separate yourself from.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN JOC?

I mean if you truly take the time to think about it, there were people in your past who are no good for you. You may have even KNOWN IT; but you still tried to hold on and hope something would change.

God tries to save us the trouble and have the OTHER PARTY walk away…but if we are stubborn and kick, and scream instead of letting them go…God will take His hand and FORCE a separation that most times hurts a lot worse than it would if we would have let them walk on out of our lives.

Instead of that guy you’re with saying “this isn’t going to work” – you hold on, get pregnant AND then dumped after it’s all said and done. Instead of letting that shady business partner go into business for themselves, you try to hold on end up getting thousands of dollars stolen AND YOUR name tarnished because you  are doing business with that person.tornapart

When I think about those people that were cut out of my life (and being totally honest here) I probably wouldn’t have distanced myself away from them if THEY didn’t walk out of my life first. As sad as it sounds, it’s true. I loved my friends. I really cared for those boyfriends. I wanted to do business with those people…but God knew that somewhere down the line if I stayed hooked up to those people, I would never grow as close to Him as I have now. He knew that I would only settle with the world’s good things instead of His best. HECK YEAH it hurt to be apart from some of those people, but years down the line I look at where I am ….and I look at where there are and all I can do is……..…

EHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! Somebody CUE THE ORGAN! II-III-I-II need some feet stomping!!!!! THANK YA LORD!!!!! HALLELUJAH!!!!

……..Whew…please forgive me. Had to get a cyber praise break in real quick! But you get what I’m saying?! I would be one sorry excuse for a woman if I stayed hooked up to those friends I was getting drunk with, or that good for nothing boyfriend I was laid up with, or that business partner who was ghetto and bootlegged as all get out.

As you go forward with you life, really meditate and think about what Bishop Jakes said and APPLY IT.  Stop weeping over that boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife that cheated on you and left you. Stop weeping over that ‘so called friend’ who did you wrong 20 years ago. Stop weeping over that mother or father who abandoned you. At the end of the day, what the enemy meant for evil…The Father meant for YOUR good. Every experience is a stepping stone; and it’s up to US to take those stones and place them upon one another so we can climb higher and higher towards our purpose. If we spend too much time crying over those “stones” that were thrown at us…God can’t  give us the strength to pick them up and build Himself up inside of us.

Ya’ll have a goodnight.

(and excuse any typos…I’m just getting done for the night and I’ve got to get up at 6 something to make an early meeting)

–          Joc

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Let’s All Donate To Help Ava’s Recovery (from brain surgery)

Growing up I never met anyone like me.

Baby Joc at birth after surgery

Baby Joc at birth after surgery

The only other kids I knew that went to the hospital as much as I did were the ones I saw in the pamphlets on the coffee table while I waited to go in for yet another CT Scan/MRI. I was never allowed to go gymnastics. I wasn’t allowed to do half of the stuff other kids my age did because I had a shunt. 

At birth I had a rare form of hydrocephalus in combination with 2 unconnected arachnoid cysts in my brain. There were times growing up that I wondered if I would live to ever reach adulthood. Even now, God constantly gives me hope when thoughts of not being able to birth my own children come to my mind. I know I’m a miracle because each day I’ve been alive was another day I wasn’t supposed to be here. It is another day that I’m supposed to be cooped up in a hospital bed in a vegetative state. 

About 4 years ago, one of my college friends changed my ‘feeling of aloneness’ when she revealed that one of her twins had Dandy Walker Syndrome and had a shunt as well.

Little Ava

Little Ava

Though I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting little Ava in person, I instantly felt a connection to her (yes even though Facebook). She will have to face challenges of her own, but if she’s anything like her mom, she will succeed beyond everyone’s expectations. She has a mother and father who love her and two sisters and more family who will undoubtedly have her back as well. God and family are important for a child living with a shunt because they will be able to give love and support on even the worst of days. 

Well unfortunately, one of Ava’s worst days has come sooner than later. Over the past month or so, she has had to have emergency surgery to revise her shunt due to a malfunction. For those who don’t know, a shunt is a device placed in your cranium that is triggered to drain any fluid that may build up in your brain. Ever heard of ‘water on the brain’? Yeah, well if too much pressure is created….your brain can suffocate and you could die. So now you understand how much of a miracle Ava is since she has survived not one, but two close calls! 

While Ava’s progress and very breath is miracle enough, her parents (who are my age) are now faced with the trail that every parent who has a little miracle must go through ….paying for treatment. 

Support Ava! Donate ANYTHING to help!

Support Ava! Donate ANYTHING to help!

Through God’s grace touching the hospital staff and even strangers, my parents were able to pay back the hundreds of thousands of dollars it took to for me to have my surgeries and receive treatment. Now it’s OUR turn to help bless Ava’s parents; Fred and Demetria Wilson. 

Here’s what I’d like you to do….

visit

http://www.gofundme.com/556bug#

…and pledge ANYTHING you can. Right now Ava receives physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy 2-3 times a week. With this most recent hospitalization, her recovery will require a tracheotomy and a feeding tube. Once Ava is stable enough to leave the hospital she will attend an inpatient rehab facility in Charlotte, NC or Atlanta, GA – which will cost her parents MORE money. 

You will only be charged the amount you pledge and nothing more. So if you can only donate $10…then only $10 will come out. Any amount will help. I know my family and I will donate because we know all too well the impact being/having a child requiring consistent hospital care can have on your life. 

Ava, her twin sister Mya, and little sister Zoe

Ava, her twin sister Mya, and little sister Zoe

Whether you are of the Christian faith or not, just know that your life will be touched in a very special way when you invest in the life of this glowing, and very special little girl. 

Since I AM of the Christian faith and know that we are all here to be a blessing to each other, I’m reminded of what Matthew 25:40 says… ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,you did it to me.’ (ESV)

SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??!?! PLEDGE NOW!

Thanks,

– Joc

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